Migration and Resilience in York Region: Supporting flexible information access across multiple communities

In March-April, 2017, United Way Toronto, York Region (UWTYR) and Woodgreen researchers developed a concept paper on migration and resilience that formed the basis for a broad community consultation with NGOs in Toronto and York Region (Ouellet, McDonough, & Dyson, 2017). This consultation provided feedback on potential research questions and community interest in collaborating in a research project on migration and resilience. Consistent with past research, a key point raised during the consultations in York, was that newcomers lacked access to appropriate and timely information to meet their needs (Caidi & Allard, 2005; Chadwick & Collins, 2015; Higginbottom et al., 2014; Lai & Hynie, 2010; Thomson et al. 2015). Service providers also felt they lacked access to the information they needed to adapt their services to the needs of a changing migrant demographic (Hynie, Baldeo & Settino, 2013). To address this concern, the York Region Network will focus our research on access to information. The research initiative will ask 3 questions:

  1. How do different newcomer communities in York Region access information about the services they need and use? We propose to identify two or three communities of interest, in consultation with our community partners, and identify how and when they access information, and how they would prefer to do so, in order to achieve their goals (cf. Somerville, 2015). We recognize that different communities will prefer different types of information at different times.
  2. How do service providers in York Region navigate and disseminate information for their clients? Front-line service providers need to be able to adapt to the shifting needs and interests of clients from multiple communities, and do so within the resources and activities available to them. We propose to identify what strategies they use to disseminate information to multiple communities and identify gaps and challenges they experience in doing so.
  3. How have organizations in York Region adjusted to the needs of newcomers? Organizations need to continually assess and respond to the changing needs of the communities they serve, or to shift focus between communities. They are also navigating shifting funding landscapes. How do institutions maintain flexibility so that they can stay relevant, culturally appropriate, and ready to act?

  1. November - December, 2017:Materials will be developed and finalized.
  2. January-February, 2018: Interviews with managers and service providers. Identification of communities of interest will be determined by this process.
  3. March-June, 2018: Focus groups with service providers. Interviews and focus groups with community members.
  4. February -July, 2018: Transcription and, where necessary, translation of interviews and focus groups.
  5. August -October, 2018: Data analysis
  6. November-April, 2018: Report writing.

Principal Investigators:

  • Michaela Hynie (mhynie@yorku.ca); United Way of Toronto and York Region
  • Julie Xuan Ouellet (jxouellet@uwgt.org)
  • Laura McDonogh (LMcDonough@uwgt.org)
  • Valerie Preston (vpreston@yorku.ca)
  • Lucia Lo (lucialo@yorku.ca)
  • Stan Shapson (sshapson@yorku.ca)
Community Partners:
  • Lois Davies (lois.davies@york.ca)